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New Jersey Officer Avoids Civil Rights Charges Over Slaying

By Lependorf & Silverstein on February 1, 2016

A Jersey City police officer will not face civil rights charges for a shooting that left one man dead and a family devastated. Officer Kenneth Bowes was relieved of all charges by a Hudson County grand jury in April 2015 for the shooting death of Lavon King in June of 2014. However, a criminal investigation by the Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor is still ongoing. Recently, a wrongful death suit filed by the King family against the city.

The shooting in question took place on June 24, of 2014. Two Jersey City police officers, one of them being Officer Bowes, pursued Lavon King through the neighborhood of Ege Avenue before cornering him in a shed. During a confrontation, Mr. King supposedly reached for the officer’s weapon, at which point Bowes fired one shot. County medical examiners reported the man died from a single gunshot wound to the chest shortly thereafter.

However, witnesses dispute the officer’s testimony. Neighbors reported that the deceased had asked “Why did you shoot me?” and they watched as two officers dragged the man a number of feet into a nearby courtyard. Relatives are also unconvinced of the officer’s innocence. Unfortunately, the state could provide little in the way of relief to the grieving family. The Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor reiterated that their main goal is to “conduct an independent, thorough and careful investigation, which takes time.”

If someone you know has lost their life in a preventable situation, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. can help. Contact us at (609) 240-0040.

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